Tinsukia: The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA-I) on Saturday has threatened that the “delaying tactics” being roped in by the chief ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by pushing continuous army operations to recover the abductees may endanger their lives.
The development came two days after ULFA (I) had set a deadline of February 16 for Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure to secure release of their employees abducted by the banned outfit from Arunachal Pradesh, else the outfit will kill Indian-origin employee Ram Kumar from Bihar on February 17.
In a press statement, ULFA (I) said instead of resolving the issue of prisoner exchange conflict between the oil drilling company and the outfit, the government is using “delaying tactics” in the form of an Army operation to rescue the abductees. “To make the operation successful, the government has given the charge to the unified command and various intelligence agencies including RAW, IB, MI, DIA and NIA,” the press release from ULFA (I) read.
“We have apprehension that the security agencies will murder the abductees instead of rescuing them to put the entire blame on ULFA (I),” the press release said, adding, “ULFA (I) is nowhere to be blamed if anything happens to the life of the kidnapped employees.”
ULFA (I) said, “In the coming days, it is very likely that both the employees of Quippo will die during the army operations under the unified command, and in such a scenario the chief minister of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and the Indian Army will be responsible.”
Pranab Kumar Gogoi – a resident of Sivasagar district in Assam – employed as drilling superintendent and Ram Kumar – a resident of Khagaria district in Bihar – employed as radio operation with the oil drilling company were abducted by an armed group of militants on December 21 from Diyun in Changlang district. The Delhi-based oil drilling company have three oil rigs in the northeast, including Assam.
On January 12, Ulfa (I) supremo Paresh Baruah had admitted his outfit’s role in abducting the two employees and told local satellite channel in Assam that Kumar, who hails from Bihar, would be a victim if the company did not pay the outfit its share for extracting natural resources from Assam and Northeast region.
“If Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited fails to meet our demands, the company will not be allowed to operate in Assam and South East Asia,” the statement said. “The outfit appeals to all indigenous persons and entrepreneurs associated with the oil drilling company to look for alternate means of earning bread and butter,” the statement added.
The development came barely a week after ULFA (I) released SOS video of the two abducted employees.
In the video, Gogoi and Kumar appealed to Chief Ministers of Assam and Bihar respectively to secure their release stating that they have been abducted by ULFA (I) and NSCN.